International Animal Rescue (IAR) has set out on a mercy mission to help bears that are being used for human entertainment in Armenia. Kept in conditions that are far from the sort beautiful brown bears should be living in, a great number of animals are confined in places like restaurants and factories to be exploited in tourist attractions. IAR’s project, The Great Bear Rescue, has a life-changing goal for the animals – to free all the suffering bears in Armenia, rehabilitate them, and, eventually, release them back into their natural home in the wild.

As IAR underlines, the bears are locked up in small and squalid cages, they only get fed scraps and dirty, stagnant water to drink. To relieve their boredom and immense frustration, many of the animals pace endlessly in their enclosures, bang their heads against the walls, or climb up the bars searching for an escape route that is simply nowhere to be found.


Many of the bears have spent years in horrific conditions.

The Great Bear Rescue aims to give all the captive bears their freedom back.

After thorough veterinary checks and assessment, the bears are to be rehabilitated and assisted as they learn how to be bears again.

After rehabilitation, the bears that prove to be physically and mentally equipped to fend for themselves in the wild will be released back into their natural environment.

Those for whom release will not be possible will be given a permanent home in sanctuaries with lifelong professional care.

The project will bring radical change to many captive bears in the country – but it requires funding for the transport of the rescued animals to their temporary new enclosures, vet treatment, food, and long-term care of the bears.


Thanks to the invaluable support of people from all around the world, IAR has already succeeded in ending the cruel practice of bear dancing in India. Now, the organization is focusing on yet another case of animal abuse – and needs help once more to end the suffering of brown bears in Armenia. The estimated total cost of each bear’s rescue is 4,000 euros ($4,715). The rescue is also currently building a new sanctuary for the rescued bears at a cost of 75,000 euros ($88,414).

“It is time to give the captive bears of Armenia the life and the freedom they deserve,” the IAR team writes. Because of the project, animals who have spent years behind bars will now begin completely new lives – and finally be respected and cared for.

You can make a donation to help free the bears in Armenia through the IAR’s website. To learn more about International Animal Rescue, click here.


All image source: International Animal Rescue